Updated: December 2, 2021 7:33:30 am
While declaring that Elgaar Parishad case accused Sudha Bharadwaj is entitled to be released on default bail, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that she should be produced before the special NIA court on December 8, which will impose bail conditions “suitable in the circumstances of the case” and finalise her release.
With this, Bharadwaj, who was arrested on August 28, 2018 and is currently lodged at Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai, will have to wait for another week to be released from jail.
The lawyer representing another accused in the case claimed that this is not the first time that the HC had not laid down conditions for release on a default bail plea and instead directed the NIA court to do the same.
The prosecutor for NIA is likely suggest to the special court bail conditions as per the progress in trial court proceedings. It is also to suggest when Bharadwaj is required to appear before central agency and the court to cooperate with the probe, the lawyer added. “It is the discretion of the HC since the special NIA court, which is hearing the pleas in the case and has the custody of the accused, can decide conditions for Bharadwaj’s release and also the nature of sureties to be submitted,” he added.
The lawyer further said that the HC would usually spell out the conditions in case it thinks there is an urgency in the matter, such as deciding a medical bail plea.
Moreover, the NIA lawyer has sought stay on the execution and operation of the HC order to approach the Supreme Court. While the HC did not stay the operation of its verdict, it granted more time to the agency to produce Bharadwaj before the special court — from December 6 to December 8.
The NIA lawyer confirmed that the agency will file an appeal before the Supreme Court against the HC order and in interim, seek a stay on operation of the verdict.
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